Rwanda is a small, landlocked country – half the size of Scotland. Situated in the heart of Africa, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and the democratic republic of Congo to the west.
Much of the countryside is a green ondulating landscape of hills covered by grasslands, gardens and tea plantations giving the country its name of Land of a Thousand Hills. The loveliness and variety of the landscapes in this ’green country’ is dominated to the north by volcanoes and bordered by Lake Kivu to the west
The Volcanoes National Park, in the Virunga volcanic mountains with its high altitude forests, is home to about a third of the last remaining Mountain Gorillas, whose individual numbers are less than 700 in total. These gentle giants live in families of several females and young, led by a male silver-back. The adventurer who treks up the mountains and is privileged to spend time with these very special primates enjoys an experience that will remain with them a forever.
In addition to the Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda offers a range of primate species that is unusual in its breadth and diversity. There are 12 species of higher primates protected in its National Parks including Colobus monkeys, Mangabey, baboon and vervet.
Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterise much of Rwanda. Dominated by scenic swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is archetypal African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland. Here the wildlife includes herds of elephant and buffalo, giraffe, zebra and predators such as lion and leopard. More than a dozen species of antelope inhabit this park, from the tiny oribi and the statuesque Cape Eland.
Nyungwe Forest National Park boasts thirteen primate species including chimpanzees and Colobus monkeys arboreal monkeys that move in groups of up to 400 individuals, the largest troop size of any primate in Africa. Chimpanzee trekking and a great forest canopy walk are among the activities.
In Kigali, the capital city, is the National Museum and the Kigali Memorial Centre. The main European language is French but English is widely spoken, particularly at hotels and lodges.